Mona Zellers Assoc. AIA

Designer

Why did you join AIA Seattle?

I joined AIA Seattle out of a desire to participate in a community-wide dialogue about the future of the profession, the values that we espouse, and the potential for architecture to change the way we live.

What is the value of AIA to you?

Through its programs, the AIA bridges the gap between research, academia and practice, and in so doing brings focus to the issues that I care about- topics ranging from the future of sustainability to the potential of architecture to be socially transformative.

What relationships have you created?

Through my association with AIA Seattle, I have formed connections to people throughout the architectural community here. I have also met designers from all over the world through my time as co-chair of the Honor Awards Committee.

What project are you working on now?

I am currently working on the design for a new middle school building located here in Seattle, but I always have a couple other small projects going on the side, usually involving plywood.

How do you explain what you do for a living?

I am a designer who likes to make things. [break]

What inspired you today?

A drawing of a hot dog with legs.

Has your career taken you anywhere you didn't expect?

I did not expect to become so interested in fabrication. For me, working directly with materials is as important as being able to zoom out and have a big idea about a space or building.

Where is the field of architecture, engineering or construction headed?

I think it is imperative for architects to continue to find new agencies in the work they do and new avenues for their talents. We now have the ability to varying degrees to take our virtual models and fabricate them directly ourselves. As we better learn to use these tools and incorporate them into the design process, we can not only create efficiencies but re-gain our connection to the reality of building.

Can design save the world?

Of course it can.

What do you hope to contribute from your work?

I want to create beautiful spaces and things that stimulate and cultivate the human experience in some way.

What is your favorite Seattle-area structure?

Its a tie between the Seattle Public Library and St. Ignatius Chapel at Seattle University.

If you could sum up your outlook on life in a bumper sticker, what would it say?

"Everybody has a plan 'til they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson.   Mona Zellers2
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